There are many reasons that employees stick with an organization long-term. They need to enjoy the work (or at least aspects of it); the pay and benefits must be right; and, yes, they’ve got to get along with their bosses. Many business owners underestimate that last point.
Building good relationships between staff members and their supervisors can pay off handsomely for your company. When you retain good employees, knowledge is preserved, productivity and morale tend to be consistent, and you don’t incur the high costs of finding and hiring new workers.

The key to lowering turnover rate is to regularly tell employees that they’ve done a good job and remind them that the company values them. While there are many specific ways to grow a supportive culture, here are six suggestions to get you started: 

1. Run profiles. Use your company newsletter or employee website to run brief stories about key employees. Make sure you include everyone — from the workers in the mail room to the executives in the C-suite. Outline their accomplishments at work, as well as their personal interests or hobbies. Include a photo so everyone can recognize them.

2. Send appreciative memos and e-mails. If someone from another department pitched in on an important project, thank the employee in a memo or e-mail, also sending a copy to the appropriate supervisor.

3. Put it in writing. Urge managers and supervisors to send handwritten thank you notes to each of their staff members at least once a year. The notes should be thoughtful, with details of the employee’s contributions to the company and the department. A handwritten thank you makes a bigger impression than an e-mail or typed letter. e-mail or typed letter.

4. Give praise in public. Acknowledge your staff members’ achievements in a public forum, such as a staff meeting. Or hold an annual awards ceremony to publicly recognize employees for their achievements. Be sure to recognize all kinds of excellence, from the receptionist who’s complimented by customers to the maintenance worker who goes the extra mile.

5. Tailor your appreciation. There’s no one way to pay tribute to your best employees. You can recognize outstanding staff members with a formal “Employee of the Month” program or use a less formal system such as face-to-face “drop ins” to pay compliments.

6. Promote two-way communication. Good supervisors spend more time listening than talking. If you’re in an office setting, be sure your people managers maintain an open-door policy. Employees who feel comfortable communicating will feel valued and be more inspired to deliver their best work. Frequent interaction allows supervisors to get to know each of their employees on a personal level.
Don’t forget about remote employees! There are more of these than ever nowadays. Train supervisors to schedule video calls with remote workers so they see both a smiling face and a friendly voice. Also encourage employees to pick up the phone or set up a video call when they have concerns. Live conversations are often a more efficient way to avoid or resolve conflicts than a string of emails or online chat messages.

More Articles